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Sounding Off on Audio: Interviews with Listeners About Their Love of Audiobooks

As we continue to explore the world of audiobooks, we bring you our newest feature, “Sounding Off on Audio,” where we interview listeners about their love of audiobooks. Find out what they listen to, who their favorite narrators are, why they enjoy audiobooks, and much more. Whether you are a seasoned listener of audiobooks or have only a passing curiosity, we hope that you find these interviews to be fun and informative --- and perhaps come across a title or two that you can add to your audiobook listening list. Whenever possible, we will try to provide samples for your listening pleasure as well.

A Conversation with Susie Stangland

Susie Stangland is a social media consultant for authors and journalists. On a whim (encouraged by Lee Woodruff and cemented by Jim Gaffigan), she decided to try listening to audiobooks and hasn’t looked back. Here, Susie describes the magic of audio and why listening is sometimes better than reading. She also shares her favorite experiences and her big plans for getting the rest of her family hooked.

A Conversation with Julie Mackey

Julie Mackey is a mental health therapist with a busy, full-time practice. With limited time for reading --- which, of course, she loves to do --- she relies on audiobooks to “maximize” her book intake. In our latest "Sounding Off on Audio" interview, Julie shares her personal listening preferences with us, and recommends some amazing titles --- some short, some long, but all worth the commitment.

A Conversation with Anna Knapp

Anna Knapp was one of our amazing chat room moderators in the early days of The Book Report Network. Back then, we had a chat room call Bookaccino, where readers would gather to chat (actually type their comments) about books. Anna would help host these chats, and facilitate readers talking about books throughout the day, greeting them and keeping the dialogue going. No stranger to the union of books and technology, Anna has now been listening to audiobooks for decades! Here, she talks about how she distinguishes reading books from listening to them, and which audiobooks have drawn the strongest emotional responses from her.

A Conversation with Julie Lewit-Nirenberg

Julie Lewit-Nirenberg has been known as a real powerhouse in the publishing world. From being a part of the launch of Ms. Magazine to her role as the founding publisher of both New York Woman magazine and Mirabella, Julie has done it all. After Mirabella, she became the publisher of Condé Nast’s Mademoiselle, followed by creating and starting Mode, a style magazine for plus-size women. In addition to magazine publishing, Julie has pioneered several charities in support of women’s issues, speaking on programs such as the "Today Show," CNN, ABC, NPR and numerous industry panels. Now she is the Founder and President at Operation Reinvent/Support4OurHeroes. With such a busy schedule, it’s no wonder that she can’t find the time to sit down and read a physical book, so she depends on --- you guessed it --- audiobooks! Enjoy Julie's interview here, where she talks about life as a woman on the go and how audiobooks have helped her keep up with her reading.

A Conversation with Roz Shea

As a longtime reviewer for (and a former chat host for our Bookaccino chat room when we were on AOL in the late ’90s), Roz Shea is quite the avid reader. Roz recently retired as the executive director of a local land trust, giving her more time for public speaking on the history of Kings Ranch and the Sonoran Desert --- and, of course, reading! Retirement is significantly busier than Roz expected, but she couldn't be happier. Enjoy her interview here, where she discusses her love of audiobooks, which have been a part of her life for 25 years.

A Conversation with Lee Woodruff

Lee Woodruff writes books and articles for a living, but most recently has embraced audiobooks and can now be found whipping out her iPhone to listen to them while walking the dog, hiking and driving. Along with her husband, Bob Woodruff, Lee is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller IN AN INSTANT, as well as the author of THOSE WE LOVE MOST and the essay collection PERFECTLY IMPERFECT. Here, she talks about her audiobook habits and her favorite books to listen to.

A Conversation with Jamie Carroll Frisk

Jamie Carroll Frisk may be one of our youngest "Sounding Off" contributors, but her audiobook listening habits span decades. A recent graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey, Jamie grew up with audiobooks playing during family car rides. Today, she continues the tradition, popping in audio CDs for her commute to work. She also keeps busy baking, reading and preparing for dental school admissions. Enjoy her interview below!

A Conversation with Deborah Barrow

As a media executive in magazines, broadcast, the Internet and beyond, Deborah Barrow has seen it all. Now, working development for a regional NPR affiliate network, she finds herself on the road a lot, where audiobooks come in handy. Though she's relatively new to the medium, Deborah shares some apt thoughts about her experience as a listener.

A Conversation with Marlene Cole

Since retiring, Marlene Cole has enjoyed the freedom to indulge in whatever book strikes her fancy. Now that she is no longer pressed for time, Marlene relishes the chance to listen to a good, unabridged audiobook. She’s been listening to audiobooks --- long and short --- since 1989 (a good year: Taylor Swift was born, and Woody Harrelson hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the first time), and here she shares with us some tips for the best experience. Hint: If you’ve maxed out your audio-borrowing from one library, just head over to the next county and load up!

A Conversation with Laura Hilger

Laura Hilger loves to garden, train her dogs and, of course, listen to audiobooks. She wouldn’t even consider starting a cleaning project without a book in her ear! In this “Sounding Off on Audio,” Laura tells us about the series that got her hooked, good narrators she can’t remember and bad ones she’ll never forget, and why she doesn’t like to listen to romance novels while she’s driving.